Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Member Spotlight: Susan Harris, The Harvey School

This week, we asked HVLA member Susan Harris to share a little about herself and her program!

1) What is your role at The Harvey School?
 I'm currently the Director if Educational Technology, Teacher, Advisor for Community Service, and Girls Rugby Coach. I was doing all of those things as the sole school librarian (6 - 12)  until we hired Sumana Shankar this year to take over the library and work more with grades 6 - 8.  My home is still in the library, as it should be.  I also develop and organize faculty professional development programs. 

2) With what age range do you primarily work?
9 - 12, although in Edtech I work with MS faculty and students as well. 
3) What is your view on the balance of materials (print, digital, otherwise) available to students for checkout in the library? (both dream and reality!)
We tend heavily towards online resources.  Our students rarely refer to non fiction print, and demand for fiction in print has really dropped off as well.  
4) What are the top three information skills all students should learn and have?
Locating, evaluating, analyzing information
5)  Makerspaces are a hot topic for schools right now. What is the mission of the makerspace at your school?
We've just begun this fall and are still wrestling with a lot of issues, like staffing (in a remote location on campus), faculty buy-in, and dedicating time during the school day for student use.  In my view, the mission is: To provide a space for students and teachers to explore and learn together with no agenda and no right or wrong answers.  
6) What is unique about your makerspace?
I'm not sure anything is really - we've used existing models and drawn on experience of other schools.   

7) What was the best professional development experience you've had in the past two years?
NYSAIS NEIT conferences at Mohonk, for the past two years.  
8) What are two of your favorite digital/book blogs/websites you read regularly?
Freetech4teachers; Mindshift​

9) What is the best book you've read this year?
The Dinner by Herman Koch.  His second, Summer House with Swimming Pool was a disappointment - too formulaic. 
10) If you could turn any book into a movie, which would it be?
Swamplandia - lots of opportunities for crazy scenery and some special effects.  

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